With the Galaxy S9 launch only 3-4 months away, rumors about Samsung’s next-gen flagship have started intensifying. The Samsung Galaxy S9 is expected to be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in late February. Only a few days ago, the Korean company quietly introduced its next-gen Exynos 9810 chipset that would power the S9. A new report coming out of the Asian supply chain suggests that both of Samsung’s 2018 flagship phones – the Galaxy S9 and Note 9 – would retain the heat pipes.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Fingerprint Reader
Image Credit: Benjamin Geskin / Twitter (screenshot)

Vapor chambers are still some time away

Samsung has been using heat pipes in its flagship smartphones since the Galaxy S7. Supply chain sources told DigiTimes that the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Note 9 would continue to use heat pipes. The suppliers have already started producing heat pipes, added the publication. It contradicts recent rumors that indicated that Samsung might ditch the heat pipes from its 2018 flagships because they are too expensive.

Heat pipes prevent smartphones from overheating. If Samsung wants to remove them, it has to look for a reliable and cost-effective alternative. Of course, many smartphone vendors are currently developing and testing vapor chambers that could replace the heat pipes. DigiTimes reports that the first phones with vapor won’t ship until 2019. Even though multiple smartphone vendors are exploring the technology, none of them have placed firm orders for vapor chambers yet.

Sources told DigiTimes that vapor chambers would be more expensive than the heat pipes during the first few years, but they are also much better at dissipating heat. A major problem with vapor chambers right now is their size, says Android Headlines. They are not yet small enough to fit into smartphones without adding significant weight.

Samsung Galaxy S9 makes benchmark appearance

The Samsung Galaxy S9 has been spotted on the benchmarking site GeekBench. According to SamMobile, the S9’s model number is SM-G960 and the S9 Plus’s model number is SM-G965. Samsung is also said to be working on a mini version of the Galaxy S9, though it is unclear whether it would launch alongside the S9 and S9 Plus or debut a few weeks later.

According to the GeekBench listing, the Galaxy S9 scored 2680 points in single-core and 7787 points in multi-core tests. The device spotted on GeekBench was running Samsung’s in-house Exynos 9810 octa-core chipset. The phone would pack 4GB RAM and run Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box. Samsung will also launch a Snapdragon 845-powered variant that would be sold in the US.

Samsung to enhance the biometric security

Korean site ETNews reports that the Samsung Galaxy S9 would feature an improved fingerprint reader and enhanced face detection technology. We have reported earlier that Samsung would place the fingerprint scanner in a more ergonomic location on the back panel. Users have complained about the fingerprint reader being placed next to the camera on the Galaxy S8 and Note 8. On the S9, it will likely be placed below the camera setup.

Samsung will focus on new software to make its biometric security faster and more reliable. The company is reportedly not making any hardware upgrades, but we can expect the S9’s facial recognition to work faster than before. The Korean company is also said to revamp the iris scanner to take on Apple’s Face ID on the iPhone X. The new iris scanner would become faster while retaining the same security level.

In terms of appearance, the Samsung Galaxy S9 would look similar to its predecessor. It would have a bezel-less Infinity display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. The handset is rumored to have a substrate-like PCB (SLP) motherboard that will make room for a bigger battery and/or new components. The Galaxy S9 would also have a vertically arranged dual camera system on the back.

Samsung’s new Exynos 9810 processor will be made using the 10nm process. The company claims it features gigabit modem with the “industry-first 6CA support,” which means it would theoretically offer download speeds of up to 1.2GB/s. The 5CA modems have a download speed of 1GB per second. Korean media claims that the Samsung Galaxy S9 would enter mass production in December.
Samsung usually brings its new Galaxy S phones to market in March or April. But the S9’s December production timeline indicates that it would arrive sooner than usual. There have been rumors that Samsung would bring forward the S9 release to defend its market share from Apple’s iPhone X.